IPL

Gujarat Titans see off Rajasthan Royals to seal IPL title in inaugural season

By Sports Desk May 29, 2022

Gujarat Titans rounded off a glorious first Indian Premier League season by beating the Rajasthan Royals in Sunday's final to crown themselves champions.

The Royals had been hoping to enjoy a first IPL final success since 2008 but once again came unstuck against Gujarat, who produced a professional display in front of a home crowd in Ahmedabad.

Gujarat beat the Royals by 37 runs in April and by seven wickets just last week, with the latter result repeated on Sunday.

There was a sense the Royals were waiting for the in-form Jos Buttler to provide inspiration, but shortly after seeing Devdutt Padikkal (two) slice to Mohammed Shami at short third man, the England international came up short on a delivery from the excellent Hardik Pandya (3-17), going for 39.

The Royals looked in trouble at 79-4 in the 13th over and their position did not get much stronger.

With Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore (2-20) also impressing with the ball, no one else managed more than 15 runs after Buttler's dismissal, with their score of 130-9 the second-lowest first innings total ever in an IPL final.

The Titans were fortunate in the first over of their chase as Yuzvendra Chahal inexplicably dropped Shubman Gill, who went on to make the Royals pay.

While the wickets of Prasidh Krishna (five) and Matthew Wade (eight) tumbled, Gill proved to be the backbone of the Titans' tilt with an unbeaten 45, aided by Hardik (34) for a while.

Chahal made amends to a degree with a classic leg spinner's dismissal of Hardik in the 14th over, giving the Royals a glimmer of hope.

But David Miller's emphatic unbeaten 32 off just 19 balls sealed the Titans' success with 11 balls to spare.

Buttler or bust

Buttler's angry reaction to being dismissed said it all. After a brilliant season in which he plundered four centuries, it ultimately felt like his campaign ended with a bit of a whimper.

While his 39 was only bettered by Gill, the scalp of Buttler was clearly decisive given the lack of runs elsewhere for the Royals.

Catches win matches

It is impossible to say how things would have turned out if Chahal had held on to that catch on the fourth ball of the Titans' chase, but considering it let Gill – the top scorer in the match – off the hook, it is difficult to look at that moment as anything other than key.

You could have sympathy with Chahal had it been a tricky one, but it looked routine and he simply appeared to misjudge the flight, almost jumping over it.

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